Hawks Eyeing One-Year Point Guard

May 3, 2010

Written by Jon Miller

Rob Howe of HawkeyeInsider introduced Hawkeye fans to Coco Ware on Monday.  Here is a link to his story (subscription required)

Ware was a Juco All American this past year, and you can read about his season at this link.

Iowa can certainly use another point guard, as Cully Payne is the lone ranger at that position for the Hawkeyes for the second year in a row as we look ahead to the 2010-2011 season.  It will be a rebuilding year for Iowa basketball, like it or not.  So Ware sounds like a decent fit, right?

There is one catch; he will have just one year of eligibility…which is probably why Iowa has a chance to land him this late in the game.  The list of schools that are actively recruiting Ware do not read like a who’s who of college hoops, likely for this very reason.

It’s an interesting situation…

Iowa has little to lose if they extend Ware an offer and he accepts, provided their due diligence shows him to be a worthwhile addition to the program and campus.  I have no idea on this front, but the Hawks will do their research.  Iowa needs another point guard, and even though Ware is not a long term solution, he could provide depth and ability for one year to help soften the bridge of yet another rebuilding year and help Iowa be as competitive as they possibly can be, something all Iowa fans want to see happen.

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As it relates to Ware, you have to ask the question ‘What’s in it for him?’

Well, he’d have an opportunity to play quite a few minutes on a Big Ten basketball team, albeit a team that has little chance of making it to any sort of post-season next year.  He’d be on the Big Ten network for nearly all of Iowa’s 18 conference games, and certainly every conference game and nearly every game on the schedule could be seen nationally.  This would help him market his talents for a future in basketball,  be it domestically or overseas.  Given the other schools that Howe reported to be interested in Ware, Iowa is the clear best shot for him to do this.

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We saw a similar scenario last year at Iowa State where Marquis Gilstrap had one year to play, with the hopes of gaining a second year from the NCAA via petition.  The latter scenario did not happen, but he gave ISU a boost this year..it wasn’t his fault that they had a smattering of other issues.  He averaged nearly 15 points and more than 9 boards a game for ISU, very solid numbers in one of the two best leagues in the nation last year.

I certainly am not predicting that Ware could put up similar numbers, as I had never heard of the guy until Howe wrote the story on Monday.  However, he put up very, very good numbers at the Juco level last year, was a first team Juco All American, Iowa has a need at point guard and Ware has a need to showcase his talents on a large stage.  Iowa has not offered him a scholarship, and Fran McCaffery told the Iowa City Press-Citizen on Monday that he would like to add one more player this month, two at the most.

Ware would not impact Iowa’s scholarship situation for the Class of 2011 at all, being that he has just one year of eligibility remaining.

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On the surface, which is all the information I have right now, this seems like it could be a very intriguing fit for Iowa, and something worth monitoring.

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